Baseball rule changes Chad Dotson 02/17/2007 2 David has the skinny on some rule changes that MLB is putting into effect this year. Share this:TweetPrint 2 Responses Cary 02/18/2007 And on dropped third strikes, a batter can’t wander off, then head for first base. If his first move isn’t toward the bag, he’s out. Take it one more step and don’t penalize the pitcher because a guy swung at a pitch in the dirt, then gets rewarded by running down to first as the ball goes to the screen. I grumble the half a dozen times a year this happens because I think the hitter should not get rewarded for hacking at a pitch in the dirt simply because there were two strikes when he did it! Michael 02/18/2007 “And on dropped third strikes, a batter can’t wander off, then head for first base. If his first move isn’t toward the bag, he’s out.” I don’t like this change. Still being able to run to first base after starting to walk back to the dugout is one of the “quirks” that makes baseball unique from other major sports. The rule change genericizes the game and takes away potential drama.